New Study Reveals That More Children Now Need Glasses

A new study says that the number of children, in the age bracket of 13 to 16 years, who need glasses has doubled over the last decade. This is primarily due to the increase in the time they spent in front of the screen. Experts recommend parents to get the eyesight of their children checked every year. Parents should also make their children take breaks from using electronic devices and use light-filtering technology.

Findings Of This Study

A new study that the eyecare company Scrivens Opticians, United Kingdom conducted stresses on the need to limit children’s screen time. It found that in 2018, 35 percent of children in the age range of 13 to 16 required glasses. That is 20% higher than the percentage of children of the same age who needed glasses in 2012.

Blue light from devices such as phones and tablets is causing blurred vision, eye strain, and shortsightedness. Of the children’s percentage who needed glasses last year, two-thirds were diagnosed with nearsightedness. The study also found that the children who wear spectacles are spending 26 hours weekly in front of electronic devices which also include TVs.

An optometrist from the eyecare company, Sheena Mangat, emphasized on the need for parents to get their children’s eyes regularly checked. More than a quarter of the parents surveyed as part of this study admitted to have never taken their children for an eyesight checkup. Moreover, 73% said that it was challenging to urge their children to take time off from electronic devices.

Handheld electronics harm children even more because their eye lens doesn’t function as a filter at their young age. This means light from the device goes directly to the back of their eye. The small size of devices also puts more strain on the visual organs.

Moreover, children small arms can only hold the device so far from their face. Experts are also urging parents to make use of light-filtering technology. Only a few taps on the phone can change light settings to suit sensitive eyes better.

Science On Screen Time And Health

We’ve been hearing about the detrimental impacts of using cellphones from a young age more and more. A latest American Medical Association journal report said that increased screen time can lower cognitive functionality in children. A paper from the Sleep Health journal discussed how too much television was slashing down the sleep of preschoolers.

What’s more, a 2018 study pointed out that excessive screen time can alter the brain structure of kids. It also said that screen time can even worsen children’s performance in academic tests. The Heart of England foundation NHS Trust has a new review that says these portable devices are even weakening the hands and the fingers of children. Another study that the Cell Reports journal published said that screen time is disturbing the sleep of adults by messing the circadian rhythm. In fact, a recent JAMA study also blamed light from screen for causing obesity.

All these recent researches are proof that it is high time we cut down our screen time. Mobile phone usage is even more harmful because these handheld devices are closer to the eyes.